I can remember going shopping with my family years ago when Sears was still in the Uptown plaza. I was about nine or 10 and wandered away from my folks to the entertainment wing. Does anyone remember those kinda budget globes that had purple light in them and the electricity would go to your finger if you touched the globe? (Editor’s Note: They are called Plasma Balls, which strikes me as a pretty good name for a physics-themed hair-metal band.) Well, they had a huge one and it was throbbing along to the music of a nearby stereo system (complete with two tape decks!). George Michael was singing “Hunnnhhhh” over and over in the song “I Want Your Sex” and the purple lightning was into it. I thought that was super cool, until I walked around the corner and my world changed forever. There on a large-screen old warhorse of a TV framed by bulky wood paneling, I hear the crackle of a guitar being plugged in and then saw Slash bust into the famous opening riff of “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Watching it now on YouTube as I write this, that video still kicks just as much ass. Who were these people and how were they so cool?
Ever since, I have looked for music that impacted me on such a strange and visceral level. Hard rock was in my blood. Axl Rose sang about how “It’s So Easy,” but as I learned more about the music industry over the years I became most struck by the bands who kept going even if it wasn’t easy at all, out of a sheer love of rock n roll.
“This is the type of music I have done for years as a past member of Pretty Boy Floyd, and Marky Ramone’s band. I love to be on tour and although this band has toured Europe and Australia, this will be the first tour of the USA besides some select West Coast dates,” says glam rock hero Lesli Sanders, bassist and vocalist of The Prophets of Addiction. Fans of dirty Hollywood bluesy glam metal can catch the band at The Anchor on Monday, April 28 with punk band the Erotics. The $5 cover will be the best fin you’ll spend on a band in awhile.
I remember years ago I went to the Viper Room and met my hero Ronnie James Dio for a fan signing downstairs in the famous LA club. Upstairs house band Pretty Boy Floyd was playing hair-metal classics and joking about how you don’t listen to Dio to try and get laid. Lesli was in the band at that time and laughed when I brought it up. Prophets of Addiction is just as awesome, though more serious in tone.
“Although I have toured the USA with my past bands many times, now in my sixth year of sobriety this will be the first time in this state of mind and I am really looking forward to and loving it. The songs are mostly about my past struggles with drug and alcohol use and that is evident in the lyrics, the songs contain messages of triumph over the past demons,” Sanders says. With a year off the sauce myself I can really respect that. It is a different kind of vulnerability and rush to go on stage sober.
“Hang Me Up” by P.O.A. wails like the still-wild banshee cousin of GNR or Hanoi Rocks. The keyboard heavy intro of “Babylon Boulevard” evokes the wild ’80s jungle with reverb heavy thunder. “I’m a bleeder from inside out, I’ve turned the blood to wine. It makes me feel alright. I’m a lover and a fighter. I’m your teenage masturbation.”
Woah. Sanders is not messing around. This is dirty rock with clanking cojones the likes I haven’t heard since Murderdolls or NYC’s awesome Panzie first came out roaring.
Cuttlebone’s new release
Another cool band to give some shine this week is local act Cuttlebone. The prog rock group features my friend Mark Bocain, a friendly guy who I met doing local farmer’s markets. We bonded over geeky vampire novels and Rush. Cuttlebone were just No. 2 in their category on Reverbnation and just filmed an NSA critical music video.
“The Cuttlebone video “HELLo” was filmed live at the Empire and Smith Building in Sharon Springs, N.Y.,” says drummer Bocain.”A lot of rehearsal went into the shoot but we were relaxed when playing. The song title “HELLo” is about a man realizing that everywhere he turns the government is watching- his computer, phone, mail, everything. Basically, the government is saying ‘hello’ silently all the time, but for the man in question the invasion of his privacy is hell. Hence, HELLo. The song is part of an ambitious two-CD concept album called ‘The Dog’ which will be released late 2014-early 2015, and the whole record will be a broad sweeping story about the privacy theme in HELLo and other relevant topics of personal freedom.
That’s a pretty vivid band name — how did it come about? “A Cuttlefish knows only life underwater until humans take them from the water. Then the only part of them that’s of ‘use’ ends up in a birdcage. So you end up with a bird that’s been taken from it’s world and caged sharing space with the ‘skeleton’ of another creature taken from it’s world, both with man being the common denominator,” says Bocain. “We’re playing on the diversity of our band covering a broad spectrum of musical worlds contrasted against man’s influence and interference in the different worlds around us.”
“HELLo”, three other new songs, and the live Video for “HELLo” are being released as a CD EP next week, and will be available for purchase through CDBaby.
Well, hope you all got to go to the Iron Maiden fan and memorabilia night at Tony’s Pizza last week. I heard it was awesome but sadly I was working. Thanks for tuning in here each week and stay classy, Kingston.